The ecommerce market is extremely competitive, with countless little players striving to stay up to date with the giants like Amazon and eBay.
Still, for both leaders and followers, the web shop UX stays the aspect that specifies who wins customers’ hearts (and handbags) and who is to leave the phase.
UX remains a leading concern in ecommerce as the majority of consumers prefer benefit to a nifty look. According to Shopify, 80 percent of users admit that a bad search experience can make them leave a web store. So, a thought-out catalog navigation system is among the important elements of a web shop’s success.
Why faceted navigation?
Faceted search is probably the most convenient search system to date. It counts on sets of terms structured by relation (aka aspects). Users mix and match alternatives (price, color, fabric, brand, and more) to gradually narrow down the search results page list until they get a brief selection of relevant picks.
Apart from being practical, the faceted search system can tell buyers more about the items they are looking for. For example, amateur hikers trying to find their very first water resistant jackets will be amazed to see a range of membrane types.
How to utilize faceted navigation correctly?
Like any tool, faceted navigation ought to be utilized carefully if you want to get the many of it and trigger no harm to your organisation. So how to change it right? Which and how numerous elements to use? How to arrange them?
These six concepts will assist you find the answers.
1. Be relevant
For sure, elements must include only the options that buyers remember when they open a particular category. For instance, the shampoo area may include hair type, hair issue, and brand name. The only way to make the list of elements total is to listen thoroughly to your customers.
Your search logs include frequently browse keywords, and even the messages that consumers delegate the sales and support groups can offer you more info about the search criteria of your target buyers. To start, you can check the thematic filters that rivals and industry leaders use.
2. Be short
Too couple of aspects are not enough to narrow down the search results’ list but too numerous alternatives can puzzle consumers. How to offer an optimum number of filters? Some web stores produce groups of elements that can be collapsed/expanded and include a scrollbar within each group. Consider the example of Lookfanstastic
3. Be convenient
Present a block with the picked filters and breadcrumbs. Usage vibrant format to advise customers that their search results are limited by the picked options. And do not forget about the “Clear all” button to let shoppers rapidly start the search from the beginning. Another tip to prevent creating the “No outcomes discovered” pages (which is damaging to both CX and SEO) is to utilize AJAX to dynamically upgrade the variety of matches beside each element.
4. Be versatile
Usage varied kinds of elements: Links, sliders, checkboxes, drop-down lists, and pop-ups.
- Using links is the most popular alternative to include classifications and qualitative item qualities.
- Adjustable sliders permit clients to restrict a favored range (For example, a range of prices, stars, or product measurements.)
- If you desire to permit matching based upon a combination of choices (state, the product should be blue and S-sized), usage checkboxes. Remember to permit selection of checkboxes by clicking their labels (the text next to a checkbox) as it’s usually easier for the user.
- If item attributes are couple of and equally exclusive, like the types of hotel spaces, the very best options are drop-downs and radio-buttons.
- Finally, if you see that the list of must-have elements is getting too long, divide them into groups and use pop-ups to conserve area on the catalog page.
5. Integrate search options sensibly
There are 3 key types of facets combinations: Conditional (and), cumulative (or), and equally unique. So, there are three guidelines for mixing facets that can assist you reveal the faceted search engine result conveniently for buyers.
- Block empty pages if you use “and” matching. “And” matching makes the web store provide just the products that satisfy all the selected alternatives (say, blue color and size S). As a result, numerous combinations will cause “No match” (state, you have only red products in the S size) and need to be obstructed for both CX and SEO factors.
- Group options if you use “or” matching. “Or” matching suggests that shoppers never get an empty outcomes page whichever combination of alternatives they choose. A research study by Matthew Henry reveals that splitting facets into two or more smaller sized groups can have an excellent effect on the number of pages and for this reason web store optimization.
- Usage radio buttons for mutually special choices to cut the variety of the results pages. For example, Amazon utilizes radio buttons for ranking, stock availability, and cost variety.
6. Find your mix
There’s no golden guideline in the faceted navigation design. The most frequently utilized filters include checkboxes and links for significant attributes brand, size, type, a cost slider, customer score, and accessibility. As a good example, you can consider how New Look combines pop-ups, checkboxes, adjustable prices, and radio buttons.
The 6 suggestions above regard only customer benefit. Another significant issue is SEO. Let’s see what you can do to make certain that faceted navigation does not hurt your search ranking.
How to use faceted navigation without damaging SEO?
Though faceted navigation considerably improves the shopping experience, its execution is a headache for SEO specialists. Faceted navigation can:
- Generate several duplicate or near-duplicate pages.
- Let online search engine index many similar pages making the web store appearance filled with useless material.
- Consume crawl budget, the variety of URLs a spider can and wants to crawl.
These issues stem from the method faceted navigation works. When a shopper chooses a specific combination of alternatives, the web shop provides the outcomes page. So the varieties of items, options, and possible mixes completely affect the overall quantity of the results pages a consumer can see. All the prospective results pages include quite much the exact same details and look practically similar for a crawler. That is why a genuine attempt to deliver pertinent details to a client can make the site appearance suspicious to online search engine.
Nevertheless, there are 2 countermeasures that can help you deal with the problem.
1. Use canonical tags (rel=” canonical”) to show search engines which page is the essential one and which are its duplicates not deserving authority or link equity.
2. Apply “noindex” and “nofollow” tags to let search engines find the page and follow the crawling directions relating to the page per se and the links on it. There are 2 methods to finish the job.
a. You can use an unique meta tag in thesection of the page:
This directive applies to all crawlers.
b. You can advise crawlers to avoid a specific URL utilizing the X-Robots-Tag HTTP header.
X-Robots-Tag: noindex, nofollow
Both alternatives above work just if the page is not blocked in robots.txt By using any of them, you decrease the variety of indexable pages. Basically, users do not see these pages in Google search results and you lower the amount of duplicate material.
Though faceted navigation is an essential for each competitive web store, it requires effort and time to bring both benefit for clients and excellent positions in SERP ranking. As constantly, the quantity of investment depends on the scale of the web store. While smaller gamers can choose out-of-the-box extensions, medium and large companies more often turn to customized ecommerce development services to get an ideal solution in their particular case.
Maria Marinina is a Digital Marketing Manager at Iflexion.